If you market your company’s products or services online, there’s a very high chance your company will have a social media presence. Social Media Examiner’s most recent industry report found that the vast majority (97%) of marketers participate in social media marketing, with 92% of them indicating that social media is important for their business. With so many businesses having an online presence, audiences are using the information available to them to do their research before buying. How do companies realise this and use it to it’s full potential? The answer in many cases is to use customer reviews on social media.
First things first, why are customer reviews on social media so important ? There are two key answers to this. The first reason is trust. Consumer reviews, in particular reviews from someone you know, are far more greatly trusted than any advert. But trust is not the only outcome – it seems reviews are also responsible for converting prospects into paying customers. As the BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2014 shows, nearly 9 out of 10 consumers have used reviews in the last 12 months in their decision making process on a local business.
Online reviews are commonplace in the travel industry, and audiences have become accustomed to this form of peer verification. This reliance has apparently spilled over to virtually all sectors, particularly for local businesses. As BrightLocal quite rightly say;
“for local businesses in all sectors, this underlines the importance of reviews & the priority that business owners should put on managing their reputation and ensuring their online reviews are plentiful, positive & fresh”
The second reason customer reviews carry so much weight on social media is that they form ideal content. Not only is it content that your audience trusts and relies on, but it’s also an easy and genuine way of talking about your products or services, without ‘shouting’. It’s honest and useful.
As well as gathering reviews from Google and your website, you can also capture star ratings and review comments directly on Facebook. Facebook makes it especially easy for your customers to share their experience with it’s five star rating system.
To allow people to post ratings and reviews on your Page, you’ll need to choose Local Businesses for your Page’s category. More information on this can be found here. Another super useful resource is this guide specifically looking at customer ratings and reviews on Facebook from Social Media Examiner.
If you’d rather not have customers share their experiences directly on Facebook, then you can gather them on your website, and select which you want to share on social media. This also allows you to share across multiple social platforms if you so wish.
Low star ratings and negative reviews do happen. This isn’t a big problem though, and if anything they make a perfect opportunity to shine! Make sure that the negative review is responded to privately, and if there is an issue, that it’s addressed. Once the issue has been dealt with, respond to the review publicly in the form of a comment on the star rating.
According to The Retail Consumer Report, commissioned by RightNow and conducted online by Harris Interactive in January 2011, of those customers who posted a negative review and received a response from the company, 33% then posted a positive review of the brand, and 34% even deleted the original negative review.
Make sure your business is filling buyers with confidence and successfully turning prospects into paying customers by getting the most out of reviews on social media. Share the experiences of passionate customers with the world whilst simultaneously building credibility and trust. It’s a win win!
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